Excerpts from my Journal…
November 30, 2020
Things are different I cannot explain it. I heard the Holy Spirit say: “Time to go deeper. Dig deeper. It is harder work. It may take longer. It is a new season. Go higher. Dig deeper.” Plumb line is the word I kept hearing. I’m going back and studying it. Father: I will seek you in your word until you tell me all…
December starts a new cycle. Reset. Refocus.
December 1, 2020
Good morning! God morning! Today is Your day, God. This is Your season. I commit to You …again. My focus is on You. I am Your scribe. I am Your watchman. I am Yours. I will say what You want me to say. I will pray what You want me to pray. I will do what you want me to do. I’m calmly excited an expectant.
What follows is a result of seeking God for one month in attempt to find an answer to this one question…
WHAT IS YOUR PLUMB LINE?
by Tammy Phillips
November 30, 2020-January 2, 2021
This question began stirring in my spirit on November 30, 2020. I have spent the last month looking for God’s answer to this question. It all started with this scripture
Thus, He showed me: Behold, the Lord stood on a wall made with a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. And the LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said: “Behold, I am setting a plumb line In the midst of My people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore. (Amos 7:7-8 NKJV)
WHAT IS A PLUMB LINE?
A plumb line is a tool used by carpenters and builders to find true vertical, what is straight and upright. A plumb bob is a pointed weight that is suspended from a cord and gravity makes the cord hang perfectly straight. The plumb line is the standard of truth for the contractor to build up straight. It tests what is true and upright.
JESUS IS THE PLUMB LINE
How do we know if our belief system is plumb? What or who is your plumb line? I set forth that the One and Only Plumb Line that God dropped on us is Jesus.
Jesus is the Truth.
Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6 NKJV)
Jesus is the Word.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (John 1:1-3 NKJV)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1: 14 NKJV)
Jesus is the Foundation.
Indeed, My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, And My right hand has stretched out the heavens; [When] I call to them, They stand up together. (Isaiah 48:13 NKJV)
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11 NKJV)
Jesus is the Word of God, full of truth. As followers of Christ, He is our standard. Jesus is our foundation on which our life is built upon. He is our Plumb Line. Isn’t it fitting that Jesus’ occupation was a carpenter? I think it is safe to assume that Jesus physically used a plumb line to construct his projects so that they would stand up right. He followed in His Father’s footsteps as Architect of the Universe creating everything in divine order.
Hath not my hand made all these things? (Acts 7:50 KJV)
Jesus is our Plumb Line. We could never measure up to Jesus, nor could we be obedient to every letter of the law. We are only found righteous in Him. He is “the Holy One, the Just, and the Righteous One,” spoken of in Acts 3:14. However, because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross, we are the righteousness of Christ. We are not to be conformed to the unrighteous world but transformed by the carpenter.
DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THE WORLD BUT BE TRANSFORMED
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2 NKJV)
Conformed is the Greek word, syschēmatizo. It means to pattern oneself like another or fashion oneself according to. It is the idea of…what you are in union with and comprising everything in a person which strikes the senses, the figure, bearing, discourse, actions, and manner of life etc. We should not be patterned after the world nor what the world says is right and just. We are to be transformed (changed into another) by the renewing of our mind. I love the Greek word for renewing, anakainōsis, which means, a RENOVATION, a renewal, a complete change for the better. This is where Jesus, the carpenter, and the Word in us goes to work.
THE RENOVATION PROJECT BEGINS
He gives us a new heart.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do [them]. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 NKJV)
He drops the plumb line of truth in us by writing His word on our new heart and in our mind.
“For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Hebrews 8:10 NKJV)
“This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds, I will write them,” (Hebrews 10:16 NKJV)
Holy Spirit actually gives us His character. Character does count, His character. According to Websters 1828 Dictionary, character is a mark made by cutting or engraving; to inscribe; a mark or figure made with pen on paper or other material; a mark made by stamp or impression; qualities which distinguish us form others; good qualities esteemed and respected; those ascribed to a person; moral excellence and firmness. The Greek word for “write” in Hebrews 10:16 is epigraphō. It means to inscribe; to fix indelibly upon it; cause to cleave to it and to be always vividly present to it; to engrave.
The Lord literally engraves His Word, His very character, into our new heart and mind. And then…
The body of Christ is renovated over time and trial to look more and more like the image of Christ. His character of love, joy, faithfulness, purity, truth, righteousness, and justice, written on our heart, changes us. Jesus paid for this work on the cross and completes the work Himself.
We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV)
There is one Plumb Line. There is one Truth. There is one Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is one gospel. There is no other gospel. There is one word.
The entirety of Your word [is] truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:160 NKJV)
What is our gospel? What is our truth? What word do we attend to? Who and what do we align with? Do we fall into rank with the plumb line of Jesus and the word of God? Or…do we make up our own “gospel” and truth as we go? The plumb line of Jesus is the measure of Truth. Truth often offends, pride, wisdom and the knowledge of the world. If our beliefs do not line up with the word of God, we are not in alignment with the Truth. Paul addressed the followers of Christ in Galatia about this issue:
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, (7) which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (9) As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (10) For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-10 NKJV)
We are warned about straying from the Plumb Line of Truth and the word of God.
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).
JESUS IS THE CORNERSTONE, MEASURING LINE OF JUSTICE AN PLUMB LINE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken. I will test you with the measuring line of justice and the plumb line of righteousness. (Isaiah 28:16-17 NLT)
Jesus is the Cornerstone, the foundation on which we can build our lives upon. He is a firm and tested stone. He is True and Faithful. He is Righteous and Just. He proved himself by living a sinless life. He is our Measuring Line of Justice and Plumb Line of Righteousness. Are we living by faith, fear, the gospel, our own thoughts and ways or by the Plumb Line? The Word of God states multiple times that the “just shall live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:16-17, Galatians 3:1 and Hebrews 10:38-39)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17 NKJV)
Just is doing right, observing and keeping the commands of God. Being just is aligning actions, thoughts, words, conduct and character to the plumb line of God, Jesus and His word. Being just is one who is such as he ought to be, upright, honest, approved of God through Christ alone, and acceptable to God. It is doing right to and for others.
The word of God says in Ecclesiastes 7:20, “For [there is] not a just man on earth who does good And does not sin.”
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. (Galatians 2:16 NKJV)
Justice is the Hebrew word, mishpâṭ. It means not doing unrighteousness and doing what is right according to divine and human law. Rectifying justice is mishpât. It means punishing wrongdoers and caring for the victims of unjust treatment.
We do justly when we give all human beings their due as creations of God. Doing justice includes not only the righting of wrongs but generosity and concern.
Righteousness is the Hebrew word, tsedaqah, meaning to be right; to be in the right; to be made right; to be straight; upright; things done justly.
Primary justice, or tsedaqah is behavior that if it was widespread in the world, would make rectifying justice unnecessary. Why? Because everyone would be living in “right relationship” with everyone else. Therefore, though tzadeqah is about being in a right relationship with God, the righteous life that results is all about how we live day-to-day and treat others. We are only found righteous in Him.
For He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV)
HOW DO WE BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST?
The correct answer will always be Jesus. We are only right through Him. How do we know if we are making the right choices? We resolve to order ourselves with the Plumb Line of Truth and His word. We imitate Jesus. Jesus was a carpenter. He built things. We are instructed in the word of God to build.
We are to build ourselves up.
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, (21) keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21 NKJV)
We are to build each other up.
“Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. (Isaiah 58:12 NKJV)
And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations. (Isaiah 61:4 NKJV)
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV)
Jesus’ whole ministry was building people up and loving them well. He was God in the flesh, He is our example to follow. In Amos the Lord stood on a wall made with a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand and dropped the plumbline in the middle of the nation. Should not we do the same? Should not we drop Jesus in the middle of our lives, the lives of others, and our nation, as a foundation to build on and our plumb line of righteousness? Shouldn’t the word of God determine what is right and wrong? What other standard do we have to build upon? What other standard is a measurement of what is right and true?
We also are to pray without ceasing.
Jesus ever intercedes for us.
Since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25 NKJV)
We need to follow His example:
“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36 NKJV)
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, (Isaiah 62:6 NKJV)
We are to stand in the gap.
“So, I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30 NKJV)
Our response should be:
I will (RESOLUTELY) stand my watch And set myself on the rampart and watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected. (2) Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make [it] plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. (3) For the vision [is] yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. (4) “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:1-4 NKJV)
TEST EVERYTHING BY THE PLUMB LINE
Test all to see if it is plumb and true. Test everything against the word of God. What does the word say about it? What does the word say about overeating? What does the word say about drinking to the point of drunkenness? Abortion? Adultery? Gender? Sexuality? Marriage? Life? We should apply the word of God to every belief, view, decision, practice, everything we say and everything we do.
The Plumb line of Jesus and His word tests our faith.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (22) “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ (23) “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV)
How do we do the will of God? We have to know the will of God. How do we know the will of God? It is all written in His word. We cannot do the will of God, if we do not know the word of God, what He thinks, what He says and what He commands. His words are words to live by. Once we know the word and will of God, we must measure ourselves
We cannot draw back once we know the truth.
For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: (37) “For yet a little while, [And] He who is coming will come and will not tarry. (38) Now the just shall live by faith; But if [anyone] draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” (39) But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:36-39 NKJV)
Our assignment is to stand and not turn back.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1 NKJV)
Walk in the spirit and do not turn back
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5: 16 NKJV)
The flesh opposes the spirit. The flesh wants us to turn back. The Spirit wants us to march forward. Hence, the flesh and the spirit are always at war against each other.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:
- Adultery: violate the marriage covenant
- Fornication: sexual sins, or sex outside of marriage
- Uncleanness: sexual acts, impure acts
- Lasciviousness: ready and willing to sin, excess
- Idolatry: worshipping anything but God (money, profession, food, drink, sports, etc.)
- Sorcery/witchcraft: (Greek word- pharmakeia: use of drugs or administration of drugs, one who uses or prepares magical remedies) occult
- Hatred: ill treatment of others
- Variance/Contentions: strife/rivalry for prizes
- Jealousies: heated rivalry, zeal
- Outbursts of wrath: passion, anger, breathing hard from anger
- Selfish ambitions/strife: electioneering, contention, a desire to put oneself forward, court popular applause by trickery
- Seditions/dissensions: division, dissension, popular uprise, stand apart, insurrections, uproar,
- Heresies: sect; act of taking or storming a city; choice, a body of men following their own tenant, sect or part; chosen opinion
- Envy: ill will jealousy
- Murders: kill, slaughter
- Drunkenness: intoxication…. “But they also have erred through wine, And through intoxicating drink are out of the way…They are swallowed up by wine, They are out of the way through intoxicating drink; They err in vision, they stumble [in] judgment.” (Isaiah 28:7 NKJV) “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry (drinking parties) and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to [fulfill its] lusts. (Romans 13:13-14 NKJV)
…and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 6:19-21)
When we walk in the Spirit, testing ourselves against the Plumb Line of Jesus, we choose not to participate in nor practice in the above list. We instead choose to exercise the fruit of the Spirit in the list below:
BUT…the fruit of the Spirit is…
- Joy: gladness, cheerfulness, peace, safety, security, wholeness and completeness
- Longsuffering: endure, constant, steadfast, slow to anger
- Kindness: moral goodness and excellence
- Goodness: upright heart and life, virtuous, useful
- Faithfulness: moral conviction of the truth, rely on God’s salvation and word
- Gentleness: meekness, mildness
- Self-control: master desires, passion, and sensual appetite, temperance and power over
Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV)
Walk in the above verse is the Greek word, stoicheo, which means:
- to range in a regular line
- proceed in a row as the march of a soldier
- march in military rank
- go in order
- keep in step
- direct one’s life
- walk orderly
- walk the line
What line are we walking? What line are we holding on to? What line orders our life? THE PLUMBLINE OF JESUS is the answer. We stay plumb and upright because the just…
- walk just as He walked. (1 John 2:6 NKJV)
- walk by faith not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
- walk in Him. (Colossians 2:6 NKJV)
- we walk according to His commandments. (2 John 1:6 NKJV)
- walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16)
- walk in Love. (Ephesians 5:2)
- walk as children of Light. (Ephesians 5:8)
- walk in Wisdom (Colossians 4:5)
- walk in His Truth (Psalms 86:11) 3 john 1;4
- walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11)
- walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, (Ephesians 4:1 NKJV)
- walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise. (Ephesians 5:15 NKJV)
When we walk circumspectly, what does that look like? Circumspectly is the Greek word, akribōs. It means diligently, perfectly, accurately. It derives from akribēs which means the most exact, the most precise, and the most straightest. How do we walk the most straightest? We follow the Plumb Line, which is perfectly true, straight and upright. We walk the Plumb Line. We walk by faith. We walk in the Spirit.
But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: (18) how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. (Jude 1:17-19 NKJV)
There are those among us who walk according to their own way. We have a choice how we walk and who we follow. It is our choice who and what we align to and with. We have the option to choose between spirit and flesh. We have the freedom to choose between right and wrong. We make the decision to align with God’s word or not. We are in a mess today because God gave Adam and Eve free will and free choice. They elected one wrong! They resolved not to obey the one directive of God. We have the option to resolutely align with the Plumb Line, the Truth of God, Jesus, or to turn our back on Him and His word. We either believe that God is the Author of the Bible or He is not. If we cannot believe God is powerful enough to inspire men to write and correctly record His word, then how can we possibly trust Him with creation, salvation, healing or life? As Christians, Jesus is our One and Only Plumb Line. He and the word of God are the only truth in which we can align ourselves upright and the most straightest.
Blessed [is] the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; (2) But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD, And in His law, he meditates day and night. (3) He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV)
I encourage you to apply the Plumb Line of the word of God to every belief, view, practice, action, and word. Follow the example of Jesus. If it is not plumb, reject it. If it is not plumb, it will fall. However, the Plumb Line never fails!
Thank you for reading to the end!